Wiz Khalifa (born Cameron Jibril Thomaz, 8.9.1987)
Wiz Khalifa is an American rapper, from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Wiz Khalifa: Childhood
Wiz Khalifa was born in Minot, North Dakota, though his parents' military service commitments caused the family to move frequently. He lived in Japan, Germany and England, before settling in Pittsburgh and attending Taylor Allderdice High School.
On his 17th birthday, he got his stage name tattooed on himself. 'Khalifa' is an Arabic word meaning 'successor' and 'wisdom'.
Wiz Khalifa: Career
Counting the likes of Notorious B.I.G., Camp Lo and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony amongst his biggest influence, Wiz Khalifa released his debut mixtape, Prince of the City: Welcome to Pistolvania in 2005. This led on to his first debut album proper, entitled Show and Prove. The album was released on Rostrum Records in 2006 and featured the single 'Pittsburgh Sound'.
The following year, Wiz Khalifa released another two mixtapes through Rostrum Records (Grow Season, hosted by DJ Green Lantern and Prince of the City 2) and signed to Warner Bros. Records.
Khalifa's breakthrough single was 'Say Yeah', which reached number 25 on the Billboard chart and features the vocals of 'Better Off Alone' by Alice Deejay. Wiz Khalifa's own vocals from the track feature on the Girl Talk mash-up album of 2008, Feed the Animals, over Underworld's 'Born Slippy', The Cure's 'In Between Days' and 'Love In This Club' by Usher.
The next mixtapes released by Wiz Khalifa were Star Power in 2008 and Flight School in 2009. Later that year, he appeared at the Amphitheatre at Station Square, Pittsburgh, with Modey Lemon, Grand Buffet and Don Caballero. It was here that he announced that his professional relationship with Warner Bros. Records was over.
Instead, Wiz Khalifa resumed working with Rostrum Records. He released the single 'Teach U To Fly' as well as the mixtape How to Fly, which was a collaboration with Curren$y, a rapper from New Orleans.
At the 2009 CMJ music awards, Wiz Khalifa opened for U-God of Wu Tang Clan. He went on to release another mixtape, Burn After Rolling. On this mix, he raps over a number of popular tunes, such as 'If I Were a Boy' by Beyonce, 'Walking on a Dream' by Empire of the Sun and 'Best I Ever Had' by Drake.
As part of the 2010 SXSW festival, Wiz Khalifa performed at Emo's in Austin, Texas. Alongside Yelawolf, he performed on the 20-date 'Deal or No Deal' tour.
The next mixtape from Khalifa was Kush and Orange Juice, released in April 2010 and a couple of months later, announced that he was signing another major deal; this time with Atlantic Records. Khalifa and Curren$y appeared in the video for the Rick Ross single, 'Super High'.
In the MTV Hottest Breakthrough MC contest of 2010, Wiz Khalifa was victorious, with almost 70,000 votes; beating the likes of Nicki Minaj, Travis Porter and Diggy Simmons. At the Soundset Festival of 2010, in Minneapolis, Wiz appeared alongside Del the Funky Homosapien and Method Man & Redman. He also performed on the same stage as Snoop Dogg, Lauryn Hill, A Tribe Called Quest, KRS-One and Slick Rick at the Rock the Bells festival.
Wiz Khalifa: Personal Life
After a gig at East Carolina University, Wiz Khalifa was arrested for trafficking marijuana. He raised the $30,000 bail and resumed his tour.